Poland and Polish Discussion Group and Forum

Welcome to the original English language Poland and Polish discussion group board. This message forum is a place where English-speaking Poles, foreigners (expats) living in Poland, and anyone with a genuine interest in Poland can discuss and read the views of others concerning Poland. Subjects include: Polish news and current affairs; Life in Poland; politics; genealogy research; Polish culture and history; advice and tips on visiting Poland; Polish property and investment issues. The aim of our group is to increase awareness of wonderful Poland using the English language and allow and foster the honest debate and exchange of opinions on anything vaguely related to Poland and Polish - positive, negative and/or neutral! To state the obvious: all opinions and views expressed on this site are solely those of their respective authors and are not necessarily those of anyone else! Messages consisting of ads will be deleted.

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Poland and Polish Discussion Group and Forum
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Poles in Kent

here is a link to a collection of articles about Poles in Kent.


Seems a bit more balanced than the normal Daily Mail headlines...

Re: Poles in Kent

Yes, interesting. The BBC don't normally say anything unPC though.

One example from your page.

Polish workers: Help or Hindrance?
More than half a million Poles (Polish sources put the figure at nearer 2 MILLION!) have entered the UK since joining the EU in 2004. Some people in Kent say they are taking 'our' jobs while others believe they are a vital ingrediant to a strong local economy. What do you think?

Every time a new wave of foreign workers crashes against our shores, various voices clamour for our sea walls to be strengthened and for fortress Britain to be defended at all costs.

With Polish migration to the UK since 2004, things are no different: "I'm not against foreign workers but I think jobs should be for local people," said one lady I spoke to in Sheerness. And this from an unemployed man in the same town: "It's unfair for the Polish people to come down here and nick our jobs when we want them - I've been unemployed for a while now..."

Many certainly feel hard done by but is it really true that Poles are ousting British applicants from their intended jobs? And even if they are isn't that what EU membership is all about - fair competition and the free movement of peoples?

They won't stop working
Agnes Wrodarczyk, who runs a recruitment agency in Whitstable for Poles interested in working in the construction industry, believes Poles are simply meeting demand: "There's no proof that the Polish people who are coming over here are taking British jobs - they are taking jobs that were already available."

That's certainly a viewpoint shared by the Managing Director of WA Turner in Tunbridge Wells, a pie and sausage factory that employs almost 200 Poles, a third of its total workforce: "We could never employ enough local people, and have had to go further afield. Our Polish contingent have been very successful and are very keen."

And it's not just their eagerness to fill positions that others may consider undesirable, it's also the manner in which they work. According to Ian Bovington, Director of Rochester-based company Classic Filters, the Poles are always willing to go the extra mile: "The main thing is that they turn up for work every day, on time.

"They won't stop working. If they finish a job they will pick a broom up and start sweeping up - they just don't stop working."

Kent-based builder John Jacquin has employed both Brits and Poles, and knows which he prefers: "They [Poles] are very keen. If I say lift something heavy, they say 'how high?'.

"A lot of the British labourers I've used before aren't very interested in working."

Click below for facts and stats about migration to the UK and our Polish community:

Poles in Kent: the stats >
Doing more for less
While the Polish work ethic is raising the bar, their willingness to work for less than their local counterparts is also causing friction, especially within the building trade.

In July 2006, a Home Office report warned of "potentially serious" consequences if EU migration was proved to be, or even thought to be, depressing wage levels for the low paid. Many believe this is already happening: "They're coming in and working for less money than the English are", said builder Colin Benningfield.

Another builder told me: "A lot of people turn you down because you want a lot more money than the Polish"

Many Poles work in construction

Certainly, many of Kent's Poles can afford to charge less for their time - they often live in shared accommodation, sometimes several to a room, keeping their overheads down.

Subsequently Poles can charge less for their work, whereas Kent's builders often need more cash just to support mortgages and families. However the argument is cyclical, for as the Poles settle here in Kent and aspire for houses of their own in which to support their own families, they too will demand higher wages, leaving the door open for the next generation of migrants - Romanians and Bulgarians - to undercut the labouring market.

What of the claim that British citizens are paying the price for the Polish influx - by supporting those who end up claiming benefits off the state? Well, the statistics do not support this line. 82% of Poles are under 34 and largely single, their demands on health services and school places are minimal, though that may change.

Re: Poles in Kent

They used to pick strawberries when I lived in Tonbridge.

Re: Poles in Kent

>>While the Polish work ethic is raising the bar...

It get's me every time I hear this. There is no special 'Polish work ethic'. There is the same natural spectrum of people from lazy to hardworking in both Poles and Brits.

It's fairly simple really - if you give people the opportunity to earn a lot more money than they normally would be able to then they will put in extra effort.

Re: Poles in Kent

"It get's me every time I hear this. There is no special 'Polish work ethic'. There is the same natural spectrum of people from lazy to hardworking in both Poles and Brits."


Re: Poles in Kent

Apologies for the appalling punctuation in my last post !

Re: Poles in Kent

Hang you're hedin shaim!